Through the Eyes of a Food Freedom Fighter in Maine

This year, Maine is considering several “food freedom” bills (including a bill just passed by the House of Representatives that would loosen restrictions on raw milk sales), earning national attention from those who believe it is a human right to acquire fresh wholesome foods without interference from government regulators.

Maine Representative Craig Hickman is proposing an amendment to the Maine constitution that would legitimize and protect private food sales between producers and consumers. “Right to Food” reads: Every Individual has a natural and unalienable right to food and to acquire food for that individual’s own nourishment and sustenance by hunting, gathering, foraging, farming, fishing, or gardening or by barter, trade or purchase from sources of that individual’s own choosing, and every individual is fully responsible for the exercise of this right, which may not be infringed.

Joel Salatin, who recently testified before a Maine legislative committee in support of this amendment, shared a fascinating behind-the-scenes look at this hearing and the tension between the two opposing sides. He describes how 30 people showed up to testify in support of the amendment, while 2 testified against it. Predictably, the two that testified against were from the Maine Farm Bureau Federation and the Maine Department of Agriculture, and their remarks illustrated how “the orthodoxy of the industrial food system has no clue what our food freedom tribe thinks and can’t imagine why we can’t be satisfied with pasteurized milk, Hot Pockets, or microwaveable frozen dinners. They see this as choice; we see it as poison.”

Read more via his Facebook post here, Joel Salatin on Maine “Food Orthodoxy vs. Heresy”.

Support the Campaign for Real Milk, join the Weston A. Price Foundation, today! Learn more about raw milk at our annual International Raw Milk Symposium, being held in Anaheim, California on Monday, November 16, 2015, in conjunction with the International Wise Traditions Conference.

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90% of New Zealanders Surveyed Say Raw Milk Should Be Personal Choice; Government Listens

Last year, the New Zealand government surveyed over 2,000 raw milk consumers – finding that nearly 90% of respondents believe raw milk sales should be a matter of personal choice. Undoubtedly taking these survey results into account, the New Zealand government has decided to legalize raw milk sales from farms directly to consumers, beginning in March 2016.

Farm to consumer sales will include home deliveries and there will be no restrictions on quantities, though raw milk producers will have to register with the government, will need to meet certain hygiene requirements, will be subject to inspections and testing for pathogens, and will need to label raw milk appropriately so consumers can make informed decisions about consumption and the risks involved.

“I recognise that people feel strongly about their right to buy and drink raw milk. Equally, I am also aware of the strong concerns about the public health risks associated with drinking raw milk and the potential risk to New Zealand’s food safety reputation. We have worked hard to find the right balance between managing the risks to public health while recognising the demand from rural and urban consumers to access raw milk,” said Jo Goodhew, New Zealand’s Minister of Food Safety.

Read more via The Complete Patient blog,  Seeking “Right Balance,” New Zealand Legalizes Farm-to-Consumer Raw Milk Sales, Deliveries.

Support the Campaign for Real Milk, join the Weston A. Price Foundation, today! Learn more about raw milk at our annual International Raw Milk Symposium, being held in Anaheim, California on Monday, November 16, 2015, in conjunction with the International Wise Traditions Conference.

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Maine House of Representatives Passes Raw Milk Bill

The Maine House of Representatives has passed a bill that would loosen raw milk restrictions in the state of Maine, allowing farmers to sell raw milk directly to consumers on the farm without a license. Farmers would be required to take a sanitation course and would be prohibited from advertising.

The bill, which was proposed by Rep. William Noon, passed by a vote of 80-67 and will now go on to the Senate for consideration.

Support the Campaign for Real Milk, join the Weston A. Price Foundation, today! Learn more about raw milk at our annual International Raw Milk Symposium, being held in Anaheim, California on Monday, November 16, 2015, in conjunction with the International Wise Traditions Conference.

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Does the Minnesota State Constitution Allow for Raw Milk Sales?

A district court judge in Cook County, Minnesota has ruled that local farmer David Berglund is not in contempt of the Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) following his argument that the Minnesota State Constitution gives citizens the rights to “peddle” products of their farm without a license.

The battle between Berglund and the Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) started in 2013, when he refused to allow state inspectors onto his farm.

Berglund argues that Section 7 of the Minnesota State Constitution, which has been in place for over 100 years, reads: “No license required to peddle. Any person may sell or peddle the products of the farm or garden occupied and cultivated by him without obtaining a license therefor.”

Berglund’s case will continue but because of this ruling, “contempt of court” and the $500 per day fines that come with it are off the table. Read more via Food Safety News.

Support the Campaign for Real Milk, join the Weston A. Price Foundation, today! Learn more about raw milk at our annual International Raw Milk Symposium, being held in Anaheim, California on Monday, November 16, 2015, in conjunction with the International Wise Traditions Conference.

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South Dakota Raw Milk Legislation Goes Into Effect

In March 2015, South Dakota passed a bill to legalize the sale of raw milk for human consumption. This new legislation officially went into effect on July 1, 2015, much to the satisfaction of food freedom fighters across the state.

The new law, Senate Bill 45, creates a new category of “raw milk for human consumption” which makes unpasteurized dairy products like milk and cream legal products regulated by the state, just like Grade A milk. These regulations will differ from those that are required of Grade A dairies and manufacturing plants because, as raw milk supporters have pointed out, raw milk produced for direct consumption and raw milk produced for pasteurization are two different products. The new law acknowledges this difference.

A unique aspect of the South Dakota raw milk legislation is that, while the state will monitor raw milk producers’ coliform levels, there are no set standards and producers won’t be fined for coliform counts. There are those who believe that coliform testing is not a good indicator of milk safety.

Support the Campaign for Real Milk, join the Weston A. Price Foundation, today! Learn more about raw milk at our annual International Raw Milk Symposium, being held in Anaheim, California on Monday, November 16, 2015, in conjunction with the International Wise Traditions Conference.

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Finnish Fitness Gurus Say Processed Milk is Junk Food

Pasteurization and homogenization ruins the natural structure of milk, stripping it of many of its beneficial vitamins, fats, enzymes and bacteria. Thus the comparison that processed milk is junk food.

“Processed milk is liquid junk food. The natural structure of the milk is ruined during the processing and the body reacts to the change,” says Eeropekka Rislakki of the Eat & Joy Farmer’s Market chain in Finland. In his experience, many people whose bodies are intolerant of processed milk can drink unpasteurized milk without issue.

Finnish personal trainer Tomi Kokko is an active athlete and personal trainer used to drink up to ½ gallon of milk per day. Now that he is milk-free, he says he has more energy and gets sick less often. Kokko encourages his fitness clients to do a 2-week experiment without milk products. He claims that 95% of the people who try it don’t return to their old ways.

As in the United States, there are other nutritionists and health experts in Finland who disagree, claiming that studies show no clear evidence that raw milk is easier for the body to process than processed milk.

Whichever way you lean, it is safe to say that if you are going to drink processed milk, organic whole milk is the best option.

Realmilk.com is a consumer education project of the Weston A. Price Foundation, a nutrition education nonprofit based in Washington, D.C. Visit their website, westonaprice.org.

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Modern Farmer Article Likens Goat-Sharing to Zipcar

In an interesting, playful and unique take on how to procure raw milk through herdsharding programs, Modern Farmer author Dan Nosowitz likens goat-sharing to Zipcar.

In Alaska, as in many other states across the continental US, consumers cannot legally buy raw milk as a product from farmers – but they can drink raw milk that is produced by an animal that they own. As such, some Alaskans are using goat-sharing programs as a loophole to source raw milk for themselves and their families to drink.

“It’s like Zipcar for goats, as long as you keep an incredibly liberal understanding of how Zipcar works!” writes Nosowitz.

Though not a commonly used metaphor in the raw milk debate, Nosowitz makes a point that could help those who are not as familiar with the raw milk debate better understand it. Car sharing allows people to make use of a car when they need it, without the cost or headache of the upkeep. Likewise, goat sharing allows people to reap the benefits of having a milk-producing farm animal without the responsibility of taking care of it or living and working on a farm. Herdsharing programs not only provide a loophole for raw milk drinkers, but also contribute to a sharing economy that boost sales for local producers and allow “farm to table” consumers to truly eat locally and sustainably.

Realmilk.com is a consumer education project of the Weston A. Price Foundation, a nutrition education nonprofit based in Washington, D.C. Visit their website, westonaprice.org.

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Still Illegal: Raw Milk Sales in Louisiana

For a moment, it seemed like raw milk producers in Louisiana had a glimmer of hope of being able to legally sell it to eager consumers. But nope, the bill that would have allowed raw milk sales in Louisiana failed to pass the Senate Health and Welfare Committee earlier in May 2015.

Currently, it is legal for Louisiana raw milk producers to give it away but not to sell it. Senate Bill 238 would have legalized the sales of raw milk up to 500 gallons per year.

Senator Eric LaFleur, who authored the bill, likened the natural health benefits of raw milk to those of medical marijuana. “We’re going out of our way to make marijuana legal for health reasons; it seems we could do the same thing for milk,” he said.

Raw milk supporters were disappointed to hear of the failure of the bill, but optimistic at another chance next year. For now, they’ll have to continue to forgo or smuggle the raw milk in from neighboring states where sales are legal.

Realmilk.com is a consumer education project of the Weston A. Price Foundation, a nutrition education nonprofit based in Washington, D.C. Visit their website, westonaprice.org.

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Now Legal to Advertise Raw Milk in Oregon

Small-scale dairy farmers and producers in Oregon can finally advertise that they sell raw milk in Oregon without fear of retribution, now that Oregon Governor Kate Brown has signed a bill that removes prohibition against advertising raw milk in Oregon.

In 2014, the state of Oregon agreed not to enforce a ban on advertising the sales of raw milk, though the advertising itself remained illegal. This year, the Oregon House of Representatives pushed through HB 2446 to “delete prohibition against advertising by unregulated producer engaged in small-scale on-premises sale of raw milk directly to consumer.” Supporters of the bill pointed out that this issue is not only about food freedom rights but also about the right to freedom of speech.

Realmilk.com is a consumer education project of the Weston A. Price Foundation, a nutrition education nonprofit based in Washington, D.C. Visit their website, westonaprice.org.

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Texas House Passes Raw Milk Bill

Texas House Bill 91, a raw milk bill which would legalize the sales of raw milk in the state, has moved quickly since being approved by the House Public Health Committee on April 21, 2015. On Friday, May 8th the Texas House of Representatives approved the bill by a large majority of 103-36 vote. It now remains to be seen if the Senate will approve this bill before adjourning on June 1, 2015.

State Rep. Dan Flynn has introduced this bill in each of the 3 past legislative sessions, getting it a little farther in the legislative process each time. Flynn calls HB 91 a “free enterprise bill,” as it will empower dairy farmers to increase revenues by meeting consumer demand.

This bill faces heavy opposition in the Senate from the Texas Association of City and County Health Officials, Texas Pediatrics Society, Texas Environmental Health Association and Select Milk Producers. However, it has the support of the Farm and Ranch Freedom Alliance, which has turned out members in support of the bill each time it has been introduced.

Realmilk.com is a consumer education project of the Weston A. Price Foundation, a nutrition education nonprofit based in Washington, D.C. Visit their website, westonaprice.org.

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